- File Size: 1860 KB
- Print Length: 62 pages
- Publisher: Close To The Bone (February 25, 2016)
- Publication Date: February 25, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01C97F5AG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,082,714 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #1233 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > 90 minutes (44-64 pages) > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
- #3413 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Spies & Politics > Assassinations
- #5240 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Crime
|Print List Price:||$5.99|
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One Day In The Life Of Jason Dean (Near To The Knuckle Novellas Book 2) Kindle Edition
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This novel fits the very definition of noir just about as well as any book I've read in a long time. Someone said noir is when things start out in a bad place and get worse. This is Jason Dean's lot in life described perfectly. It's also the lot of a ginormous number of real people and Ian Ayris has got it right. Jason Dean is a brutal man, in a brutal existence, and yet, in spite of the depth of the world to which he's sunk, he displays a moral code that puts to shame that of many a high church official. Good books elicit emotion from their readers and A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JASON DEAN does precisely that. When I come to the end of my days and have time to reflect, I'm sure there will be books I've spent time on that I will regret spending time on and wish that time back. Not for this one.
Reflection, regret, an event in the past, an erosion of the spirit. I could elaborate but to do so would risk spoiling things for a new reader.
A bit of high brow culture (Nietzsche, Wagner and Shostakovich) combines with a local history lesson, which documents the passage of time, combines with the mundane elements of working for a local criminal and money lender and the tedious but necessary application of some physical punishment. Today might just be different though.
Jason's inner monologue throughout provides some insight into a more complex character, than his job title might have you believe he is. Throughout, fierce parental love pervades.
Despite the melancholy nature of this one, we do have some occasional slapstick, which momentarily lightens the mood.
A moving, thoughtful and considered piece.
4.5 from 5
I've enjoyed Ian Ayris previously - Abide With Me and April Skies both last year.
Read in May, 2018
Published - 2012 originally, (2016 republished by Near to the Knuckle)
Page count - 108
Source - purchased copy
Format - Kindle
As those dark moments unfolded there lay the brilliance of the writing of Ian Ayris. I'm already a fan of his work but Jason Dean is something special. There's swearing and the odd obvious gangster reference but there's breaking down of barriers too. Gangsters coming to blows following a disagreement about Shostakovich and Nietzsche? I was marvelling at sheer surreal nature of this scene and chuckling a bit for good measure.
Strip away the violence and the swearing and you are left with a sad tale of a lost soul. A melancholy story about human nature, grief and loss more than a gangster story. Ayris once again proving that the respect of his peers is well placed. A cracking read!
This is one of the best stories I've ever read. There, I've said it. And I'm not taking it back. I'll explain why...
We wake up very early one morning with Jason, he's in bed with his wife who loathes him but we've no idea why. He tells us he's going to have a very bad day, in fact Jason must have one of the longest faces in literature. He's truly unhappy. Whilst having some food and a coffee in perhaps the worst café in the world Jason reveals he's got to collect some cash for a local hard man, Micky Archer, then kill a guy.
Jason goes to see Micky to find out the names of who has to pay. In an incredible scene, the two hard men argue about Wagner and Shostakovich of all things. It transpires that Jason, despite living on one of the worse estates in the country (which Ayris deftly paints, a perfect backdrop) is extremely well read (although not well schooled which comes over in the narration).
Jason proceeds on his debt appropriation mission with mixed success, including witnessing a suicide. Whilst walking around this hellhole dealing with the locals, the hard man treats us to insights on the classical music he listens to, the books and poetry he's read, and how they make him feel. Like Sylvia Plath and the parallels she draws to Jason's life. It's totally at odds with the person we're reading about, adds real dimension to Jason's character, and throws his surroundings into stark contrast. He doesn't want to be who he is, but Jason feels he has no choice. He doesn't want to murder a man, but he must. Another brilliantly written scene.
Throughout the story, Jason is also thinking about his daughter, Sophie. Towards the end of the book he reveals why he has such a heavy heart in a truly emotional, heart-wrenching scene. I really wish I could tell you more, but I don't want to spoil the surprise. It completely caught me out and brought everything to a well thought out conclusion.
The characters, besides Jason, are excellent. I particularly like Micky. Finally Jason's monologue and the dialogue are both excellent, for example the classical music argument:
I know he's only kiddin, cos we been mates for years. But it don't make it no f'ing easier sittin here in his comfortable three bedroomed semi, drinkin tea out of a china cup and listenin to him bangin on about f'ing Wagner, whilst at the same time he's beratin the f'ing genius of Shostakovich...
`Nietzsche was right,' I says, quiet, sort of under me breath.
Micky's eyes start to bulge. He puts his tea down.
'What did you say?' he says, leanin forward, squeezing his eyebrows together.
The pair then proceed to fight over Nietzsche's interpretation of Wagner - this incredibly rough, violent pair arguing over classical music and philosophy having discussed debt collection and murder.
And back to the beginning. This is a superbly written novella. I can't find a fault anywhere with it. One of the best stories I've read. Ever.
**Originally reviewed for Books & Pals blog. May have received free review copy.**